Guam Governor visits 94th AAMDC Soldiers

| December 13, 2014 | 0 Comments
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii-Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, the eighth elected governor of the United States territory of Guam, visits, Dec. 5, 2014, with 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Soldiers, who were native to Guam, at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kimberly K. Menzies, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs)

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii-Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, the eighth elected governor of the United States territory of Guam, visits, Dec. 5, 2014, with 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Soldiers, who were native to Guam, at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.

 

Story and photo by Sgt. Kimberly K. Menzies
94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs

 

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, governor of the United States territory of Guam, was the guest speaker for the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command St. Barbara’s Day Ball, Dec. 5, 2014. During his visit he spoke with Sea Dragon Soldiers, who were native to Guam.

 

Calvo is the eighth elected Governor of Guam and was re-elected to his position in November.

 

“These past four years as a governor, I have had the opportunity to go to many different parts of the nation and different U.S. bases,” said Calvo. “I have had an opportunity to meet with our Guam Soldiers. I must tell you how proud I am as an elected public servant from Guam of what I have heard of the quality of the Guam Soldiers, whether it was the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard, it is the same story. There is camaraderie, esprit de corps that is amongst our people coming from Guam. A love of Nation, love of flag, love of our people and it is an honor to see you here.”

 

Calvo shared the reason why the Soldiers service and sacrifices are so important to the people of Guam.

 

“Many of your parents and grandparents were civilians in a time of occupation when Guam was not only bombed but under foreign rule for three years until the liberation in 1944. When the North Korea scare was apparent and things were being put in the media, there were some of our man’amko, our elderly, who were reminded of the early years of WWII and old wounds were reopened.”

 

In 2013, the Department of Defense moved a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery to the island of Guam. Governor Calvo was very influential in the deployment of this unit and personally sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, requesting that air defense assets be moved to Guam. As a result, the 94th AAMDC stood up Task Force Talon, the first ever forward deployed THAAD unit at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam.

 

“It was not only for physical defense of the island but I think for much of our people it also showed the support of the Armed Services of the United States in protecting our people,” shared Calvo.

 

“That is how important your job is here, particularly in the 94th, and what it symbolizes: protection of American assets and American people. So to all of you, I just want to say thank you.”

 

The Soldiers listened intently and were happy to receive greetings from their home.

 

“It was an honor to have the opportunity to meet with Governor Calvo,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Cabanayan, the property book officer noncommissioned officer in charge with the 94th AAMDC and native of Dededo. “It means a lot that he made the trip from Guam to here to meet with Soldiers. It shows that he cares and supports his Soldiers. Many of the Soldiers from Guam have been away from their Families for a long time and this visit definitely helps boost morale.”

 

“It was a great feeling to meet such an influential leader of my island home,” shared Maj. John Cruz, an operations officer with 94th AAMDC and native of Tumon Bay. “Not many Soldiers get a chance to meet with their state governors during the time they serve in the military. For our small group to get a chance to interact with him was a privilege.”

 

The significance of meeting with Governor Calvo went beyond just historic privilege for some of the Soldiers.

 

“Guam is so far way from any major Army installation and units, that it is important to [Soldiers when the Governor] expresses his gratitude on behalf of the island community at any chance he gets,” said Cruz. “If anything I felt like he was a distant Family member making sure his Family is doing okay.”

 

During his visit to Hawaii, Governor Calvo also visited Wounded Transition Battalion Soldiers at Schofield Barracks to lift spirits during the holiday season while they are separated from their loved ones.

 

Later that evening Governor Calvo spoke at the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command’s Saint Barbara’s Day Ball and was inducted into the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara. Saint Barbara is the patron saint of air defense and Santa Barbara (Saint Barbara) is one of the patron saints to the Dededo Village on the island of Guam.

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